It’s a sad fact of life but people sometimes steal what they can’t afford or simply what they want. This is something we all kinda expect to happen in our day-to-day lives – seeing shoplifters, cars being stolen, purses being snatched and people being mugged. In a way we’ve almost become numb to the whole experience. It’s almost like theft has become something we expect to see.
But there’s a darker side to theft and that’s when it happens where you work. For some weird reason the same people who would never steal a car think it’s perfectly OK to steal from their employers. They justify this by using the “But the company is worth millions/billions” type of excuse so that it doesn’t trouble their conscience.
Now there are varying degrees of theft and it tends to work on a sliding scale. If you take a pen or a pack of sticky notes home from work I don’t see that as actual theft per say – that’s more like you being too lazy to go and buy the pen or sticky notes yourself. Don’t get me wrong – you’re still stealing from your employer but it’s unlikely you’ll do jail time for stealing that fancy company notepad with the nice paper that you love doodling on. The one exception I can think of here is the parents I saw raiding my old company’s stationery cupboard every time the kids were going back to school – and those same parents were earning $50K per year yet they still pillaged until the room was almost bare.
The type of theft I’m talking about is where employees use company property for their own gain and this is especially true of mobile phones. A lot of companies give staff a cell phone as part of their job package – you get your desk, your laptop and your company cell phone. Now most people are 100% honest and use these phones just for business reasons and nothing else. Phone Spy Apps
But there’s a group of people who see an opportunity in everything given to them and not in a good way. A guy I used to work with routinely made international phone calls and lied about it being for business. I’ve seen other employees use their phone for Facebooking all day. And then the really stupid ones who download adult content onto their phones. Or use the phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for their laptop at home. Worse again are the guys who share confidential company information with your competitors and get paid for doing it.
Here’s the shocking reality of how much theft happens in the work place. More than 70% of people steal from their employers at least once during their employment. Almost half of that 75% will steal over and over again – once they realize they can get away with it. This workplace theft costs businesses all over the world more than US $50 billion per year – that’s enough money to build 10 Space shuttles or buy half of New Zealand.
Once an employee realizes they can get away with stealing from you and not get caught they’ll keep doing it. And you’re going to have to foot the bill even though you’re already paying their salary every month!